In the Plain Dealer (August 3, 2006) an article on page B6, by jmccarty@plaind.com, 216-999-4153, states "Pedophile: Sex with boys is sacred religious ritual".

Phillip Distasio is a self admitted pedophile, charged with 74 counts of rape, drugs & pandering. He states, "I'm a pedophile. I've been one for 20 years". All but 1 of his victims were under 13, which carries a mandatory life sentence. Distasio is using a "Religious Freedom" defense. He states, "Not all pedophillia is bad, and sex with boys can be healthy". Distasio said his Rocky River apartment was a religious sanctuary where engaging in sex with boys and smoking marijuana were considered sacred rituals and protected under civil rights laws.
He considers his victims as “congregants”. Distasio wants to call them in as defense witnesses.
The Prosecutor in this case is Brendan Sheehan.